Thursday, March 16, 2006

Blogging & Campaign Finance Reform

I heard on NPR yesterday that there is a vote on the Hill today which will help to decide whether or not bloggers are allowed to discuss political candidates on their blogs.

These are not journalists or news people they are considering shushing. These are not necessarily politicians or lobbyists. These are bloggers. You and me. All the blogs on Blogger, LiveJournal, etc. would be included in this censorship.

This is an outrage and in my opinion, a direct violation of our First Amendment right to free speech. It's just one more way the State is attempting to restrict our right to express our thoughts and our ability to show our support for candidates and political causes.

What are your thoughts on this form of "campaign finance reform"?


Addie said...

and how would they really enforce that, its just stupid

SerenitySprings said...

I honestly don't know. I brought it up in one of my classes today and the Prof said he was going to look into it and get back to me next week. I'm going to look into myself, of course, and I'll keep you posted.

It's definitely bizarre.

fictionfiend said...

In a word...

Record that in your archive, NSA.

Dave-o-ramA said...

Hey, how do you know if bloggers are saying what they want to say themselves, or if they're being paid by some corporation to promote their candidate for them?

If we're going to get the money out of politics once and for all, we're going to have to prevent anyone but credentialed journalists and candidates from speaking during election cycles. Otherwise, we can't be absolutely sure that there isn't any corruption.

SerenitySprings said...

David, I have to call bullshit on that argument.

How do you know that someone isn't saying exactly what they want to say about candidates and their issues whether they're being paid for it or not?

The First Amendment doesn't say that citizens of the United States have the right to free speech *except* in cases where there *might* be corruption involved. Every single one of us is guaranteed that right - whether we're being paid by some corporation or not.

The vast majority of bloggers and people who truly care about the system are not saying what they're saying because they're being paid to. Some are talking, writing, expressing themselves, etc., because they feel they're a part of the system when doing so.

The government shouldn't punish or censor all of us just because they're afraid that somebody somewhere might be engaged in some corrupt practice.

And we're never going to get the money out of politics. It's just the way it is. It's capitalism and democracy at work. It's bullshit for some people to be fighting so hard for campaign finance reform when there are much bigger issues that need to be dealt with.

People who are determined enough to be a part of the process are going to find a way to be involved whether they have to money to do so or not.

Karl Gallagher said...

I'm hoping Dave's just being ironic, 'cause if we leave writing about politics to "credentialed journalists" we might as well let them be the only voters. I think setting up a caste of authorized commentators is far more corrupting than any amount of corporate (or other) money.

I'm going to keep commenting on politics, and if the FEC tries to fine me for an "unreported campaign contribution in kind", hey, somebody's gotta be the first court case.